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The Black Dog inspires creativity -- its high ceilings, floor-to-ceiling windows and spacious tables encourage daydreaming, journaling, doodling and other precursors to art making.


Twin Town High (vol. 8)

Your Locally Grown Alternative Newspaper

Hot Tickets for Nov. 29 - Dec. 5, 2006
Wednesday 29 November @ 13:46:49
Hot TicketsApocalypto :: Amahl & the Night Visitors :: DeVotchKa :: Green Green Water :: Rodriguez Brothers :: Timberwolves vs. Nuggets :: Stefan Olson Fundraiser :: Doomtree Blowout 2 :: No Coast Craft-O-Rama :: Regina Marie Williams :: AND THIS WEEK'S HOT PICK: The Ten Year, Tiny Tim Tribute Memorial Concert ...


Oak Street Cinema
Mel Gibson's ApocalyptoMinnesota Film Arts is offering an early holiday gift: a free preview of Mel Gibson’s latest film project, “Apocalypto,” which looks to be a synergy of concerns that Gibson has explored in what I consider to be his best (“Braveheart”) and worst (“The Passion”) work. Set during the decline of ancient Mayan civilization, there’s sure to be visceral violence as the Spanish conquistadors bloodily conquer the indigenous people and the Mayans escalate their rituals of human sacrifice and try to stave off colonization. The protagonist, Jaguar Paw (played by Rudy Youngblood), is slated for the sacrificial pyre. His journey of escape forms the core of this mythic/adventure/action film. So where’s the gift? This screening is a free preview, and given Gibson’s uneven work as a director, that’s not a bad thing. Still, I’ve heard positive rumors about this film, and depicting colonization from an indigenous perspective is refreshing and worth a look. 7:30 p.m. Free. 309 Oak St. SE, Mpls. 612-331-3134 or LYDIA HOWELL

Amahl & the Night Visitors
Ritz Theater
Amahl & the Night VisitorsThis holiday ballet alternative to The Nutcracker offers the added joy of seeing the James Sewell Ballet in a splendid blend of classical ballet and contemporary dance that’s wittily modern in its concept and choreography. Sewell is, after all, the company that conceived of transplanting Garrison Keillor’s private eye on “Prairie Home Companion,” Guy Noir, into a ballet! In this story, young Amahl and his widowed mother encounter Three Kings who are searching by star for—well, you know the story. But what you might not know is the magic touch that the James Sewell Ballet Company brings to it. I discovered the company last year and was absolutely wowed. This production draws on many different styles of dance and movement (including American Sign Language), making it the perfect multicultural holiday gift. Through Dec. 3. Wed. – Sat. 7:30 p.m. Matinees Sat. 11 a.m. & 1 p.m.; Sun. 3 p.m. $25/$13. 343 13th Ave. NE, Mpls. 612-623-7660. LYDIA HOWELL

First Avenue
DeVotchKaFresh on the heels of scoring the indie hit “Little Miss Sunshine,” Denver’s DeVotchKa (whose name comes from “A Clockwork Orange”—it’s Nadsat for “young girl”) have released an EP of mostly covers entitled Curse Your Little Heart, which also happens to be the title of the sole original piece on the album. DeVotchKa’s music is an exotic blend of Eastern European, Latin, jazz and indie rock influences, alternately coming off like a more classically-inclined Calexico or a calmer Gogol Bordello. This latest disc finds them tackling songs from Sinatra (“Somethin’ Stupid,” which you might fondly remember from the karaoke version sung by Sideshow Bob and Selma on “The Simpsons”) to Siouxsie and the Banshees (album highlight “The Last Beat of My Heart”) and even the Velvet Underground’s “Venus in Furs.” That song gets the royal freakout treatment, with singer Nick Urata’s voice stretched and frayed to an echoey shimmer that recalls Jeff Buckley’s more out-there stuff. DeVotchKa’s best quality is the lushness of their musical vision, and Curse Your Little Heart’s re-interpretations form an able stopgap on the way to their next proper release. With My Brightest Diamond. 6 p.m. $13/$15. 18+. 701 First Ave. N., Mpls. 612-338-8388. STEVE McPHERSON

Green Green Water
Bell Museum of Natural History
It’s an old story. Megadevelopments manipulate the environment as though “nobody’s living there.” Aboriginal people bear the brunt. We should be getting used to it. In the early ’70s Manitoba Hydroelectric Company reversed the flow of the Churchhill River and diverted the water southward into the Nelson River, upon which they built five dams over a period of 20 years. In Minnesota, where we buy “clean, renewable” energy from Manitoba Hydro, we didn’t start hearing about the damage until 1998. At that time Clean Water Action named it an “undesirable energy source.” In 2006, on the heels of an announcement by Xcel Energy that it wishes to rely more heavily on Manitoba Hydro for Minnesota’s energy, filmmaker Dawn Mikkelson has released the completed “Green Green Water.” Filmed on a shoestring budget, it shows Mikkelson, an average American consumer, investigating where the “green energy” she is purchasing comes from. She travels to northern Manitoba where she finds environmental devastation and deep divisions in the First Nations communities about further development. Allegations of bribery and government corruption surface. Mikkelson explores the complexity of cultures in collision and the effects of environmental destruction on a way of life. The showing will be followed by a panel discussion with Mikkelson, Jamie E. Lee, co-director and editor, State Senator Scott Dibble and Ken Bradley of Fresh Energy. 7 p.m. $10 suggested donation. 10 Church St. SE, Mpls. ELAINE KLAASSEN

The Ten-Year, Tiny Tim Tribute Memorial Concert
Lee’s Liquor Lounge
Tiny TimHerbert Khaury, better known by his stage name Tiny Tim, might not have started his career in Minneapolis (in fact, he’s supposed to have begun performing in lesbian bars), but he sure ended it here. In November 1996, while visiting the Minneapolis Woman’s Club, he played a medley of his greatest hits on ukulele, finished with his signature number (“Tiptoe through the Tulips,” sung in a high, quavering falsetto), then promptly collapsed. His next destination would be the Hennepin County Medical Center, and the next destination after that would be Lakewood Cemetery, where he resides to this day. The pity of it is, had Tiny Tim survived, he certainly would have enjoyed a revival nowadays. Just as there was a great affection for creative oddballs in the ’60s, when Tiny Tim first came into the limelight, we are now in a golden age of outsider musicians, such as Wesley Willis and Daniel Johnston—and musicians didn’t get much further outside than Herbert Khaury, a massive man in outlandish garb who carried a ukulele in a paper bag and warbled music learned from ancient 78 rpm records. Perhaps we’re at the start of a revival now—after all, this Thursday, at Lee’s Liquor Lounge, musicians such as “Diamond Jim” Dandy and Johnny Pineapple will be feting Tiny Tim, while audience members get the chance to ogle some of Tiny Tim’s actual clothes, instruments and effects. The evening will also include never-before-seen archival footage of Tiny Tim in action. 9 p.m. $10. 101 Glenwood, Mpls. 612-338-3134. MAX SPARBER

Rodriguez Brothers
Artists Quarter
TC Jazz fans may recall that pianist Robert Rodriguez more than held his own with legend Roy Haynes during Haynes’ live CD recording at the Artists’ Quarter last January. Now Rodriguez is back, with trumpeter and brother Michael. This is one amazing duo of hot young talent. Robert has played with the likes of Arturo Sandoval and Chick Corea, and Michael’s played with giants like Clark Terry, Quincy Jones and the Lincoln Center Afro-Cuban Jazz Orchestra. The reunion of these two siblings is likely to result in a musical sizzle that will melt the Northland. Through Dec. 2. 9 p.m. $10. 408 Prince St., St. Paul. 651-292-1359. LYDIA HOWELL

Timberwolves vs. Nuggets
Target Center
Kevin GarnettNothing lasts forever, but I’m way more torn up inside than I expected to be at the thought that not only may Kevin Garnett soon be leaving for greener pastures, but that he actually needs to. Being a fan of a team is a messy business: I love the T’wolves, and I love KG, and for as long as I’ve been a fan, those two things have been synonymous. Thus was sportswriter Bill Simmons’ article in the Dec. 4 issue of ESPN the Magazine all the more painful for being right: Garnett is missing out on a chance to be recognized as one of the all-time greats if he stays here. I was there when the T’wolves came back in the last eight minutes of the fourth quarter against the Los Angeles Clippers last Saturday night, and I was momentarily buoyed by the win, re-energized by the resolve shown by a team notorious for phoning in fourth quarters, but it was ultimately as hollow a victory as a peaceful, romantic dinner in the middle of a failing relationship. I know what has to happen: KG has to leave and find his championship ring with another team (please don’t let it be the Lakers) and, in the end, I know it’s right. The Timberwolves’ playoff run in ’04 will forever stand second in my heart only to the Red Sox winning the championship that same year as the defining sports experience of my life (I was born in Massachusetts). While he’s still here, you better get over to the Target Center and see him in person. In case you’re not up on your T’wolves history, we hate the Denver Nuggets, and this one’s bound to be a knock-down, drag-out fight. Kevin: It’s been a pleasure and an honor. 7 p.m. $10 - $700. 600 First Ave. N., Mpls. 612-337-DUNK ext. 1 or STEVE McPHERSON

Stefan Olson Fundraiser
Big V’s
Friends and fans of Stefan Olson, who died suddenly in early October, will want to make this scene to pay homage to our old buddy. Music starts early and goes late both nights, and all proceeds go to Stefan’s family. Dec. 1 bill: Kruddler, the Congo Eels, Alicia Corbett, Michael Quinn & the Bourbon Kings and Flink. Dec. 2 bill: Brian Herb & his Outstanding Achievements in the Fields of Excellence, 10w40, The Autumn Leaves, Ken DeVoe, Henry. 9 p.m. Friday, 8 p.m. Saturday. $5 - $10 suggested donation. 1567 University Ave., St. Paul. 651-645-1359. SID PRANKE

Doomtree Blowout 2
First Avenue
DoomtreeBeing jaded is easy, but, like Spoon once said, “Believing is hard; believing is art.” Doomtree believes. They’re out there doing it every day, making moves, putting together fat (not phat) rap shows and making just endless amounts of incredible music. Last Sunday I co-hosted Homegrown on Drive 105 when they were guests, and amongst the six of ten who were there (emcees Dessa Darling, P.O.S., Cecil Otter, Mike Mictlan, Sims and producer Lazerbeak), they dropped no fewer than five brand new jams that were every bit as propulsive, desperate, sly and beautiful as anything I’ve heard this year. The monstrous posse album they’ve been promising for months is still in the works, but until then, you’ll have to comfort yourselves with the sequel to one of last year’s best gigs, the first Doomtree Blowout. Forget minutes: That show at the Varsity sold out in about a verse—half a song tops—and left cats shivering on University. If you’re dragging your feet, thinking there’s no way they can sell out the Ave, don’t kid yourself: Just move on over to Fifth Element, the Fetus or and pick up some tickets because there’s no way that this rapstravanganza of hip-hop, art and film isn’t packing ’em in. Did I mention that a portion of the proceeds benefit People Serving People, a nonprofit serving children and their families? Performances by the entire Doomtree crew, poppers and breakers, reactive motion graphics, wheatpasting by KHS, new Doomtree merch, cats and dogs living together. Just go, son. 8 p.m. $10/$12. 18+. 701 First Ave. N, Mpls. 612-338-8388. STEVE "THAT'S MY GOV" McPHERSON

No Coast Craft-O-Rama
Midtown Global Market
No Coast Craft-O-RamaUsually if I’m elbowing my way through a wall-to-wall crowd, I’m clutching a beer and slithering toward live music at the other end of a bar. But at last year’s No Coast Craft-O-Rama, it was crafts, not rock bands, that garnered nearly three times the expected crowd and overflowed Columbia Manor for the debut event presented by Crafters Local 612. This year Craft-O-Rama takes place at the Midtown Global Market, and while it’s no Black Friday, the event will draw scads of shoppers looking for one-of-a-kind, cutting edge crafts. More than 80 vendors will sell handmade wares ranging from prints and jewelry, to clothing and art (one of my favorite items from last year was a set of crib sheets made from sock monkey fabric). Whether you’re shopping for others or stuffing your own stocking, you’ll be inspired by this festive and feisty event. 9 a.m. – 7 p.m. Lake St. & Chicago Ave., Mpls. NANCY SARTOR

Regina Marie Williams
Dakota Jazz Club & Restaurant
Singer-actor Regina Marie Williams, who vaulted to prominence on the Penumbra Theatre Company stage, is about as awesome as awesome gets. After paying plenty of dues at venues, including Mixed Blood Theatre, Williams got the chance to show her incredible acting chops in “Louie and Ophelia,” then turned in a towering performance singing the title role in “Dinah Was,” the musical based on the life of the legendary Dinah Washington. Recently Williams performed in “Yellowman” at the Guthrie Theater’s Dowling Studio. Now you have the chance to catch her up close and personal for the release of her new CD, Feel the Spirit!, which features spirituals, gospels and hymns, at the famed Dakota nightclub. See for yourself why Angela Bassett raved about Regina Marie Williams this summer in Entertainment Weekly. 8 p.m. $20. 1010 Nicollet Ave., Mpls. 612-332-1010. DWIGHT HOBBES
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